The personal nature of texts was remarked upon by a late 6th century imperial librarian. According to him, the possession of and familiarity with a few hundred scrolls was what it took to be socially accepted as an educated man. According to Endymion Wilkinson, one consequence of the rise of paper in China was that "it rapidly began to surpass the Mediterranean empires in book production. In addition the gradual spread of woodblock printing from the late Tang and Song further boosted their lead ahead of the rest of the world.
From the fourth century CE to about , the biggest library collections in China were three to four times larger than the largest collections in Europe. The imperial government book collections in the Tang numbered about 5, to 6, titles 89, juan in The Song imperial collections at their height in the early twelfth century may have risen to 4, to 5, titles.
These are indeed impressive numbers, but the imperial libraries were exceptional in China and their use was highly restricted. Only very few libraries in the Tang and Song held more than one or two thousand titles a size not even matched by the manuscript collections of the grandest of the great cathedral libraries in Europe.
However despite the initial advantage afforded to China by the paper medium, by the 9th century its spread and development in the middle east had closed the gap between the two regions. Between the 9th to early 12th centuries, libraries in Cairo, Baghdad, and Cordoba held collections larger than even the ones in China, and dwarfed those in Europe.
From about the maturation of paper making and printing in Southern Europe also had an effect in closing the gap with the Chinese.
After , European collections completely overtook those in China. The Bibliotheca Augusta numbered 60, volumes in and surged to , in In the s the Bibliotheque du Roi numbered 80, books and the Cambridge University 40, in The European advantage only increased further into the 19th century as national collections in Europe and America exceeded a million volumes while a few private collections, such as that of Lord Action, reached 70, European book production began to catch up with China after the introduction of the mechanical printing press in the mid fifteenth century.
Reliable figures of the number of imprints of each edition are as hard to find in Europe as they are in China, but one result of the spread of printing in Europe was that public and private libraries were able to build up their collections and for the first time in over a thousand years they began to match and then overtake the largest libraries in China. Paper became central to the three arts of China — poetry, painting, and calligraphy.
After its origin in central China , the production and use of paper spread steadily. It is clear that paper was used at Dunhuang by AD , in Loulan in the modern-day province of Xinjiang by , and in Turpan by Paper was concurrently introduced in Japan sometime between the years and Paper spread to Vietnam in the 3rd century. Paper spread to Korea in the 4th century. Paper spread to Japan in the 5th century.
Paper spread to India in the 7th century. After the defeat of the Chinese in the Battle of Talas in present day Kyrgyzstan , the invention spread to the Middle East. The legend goes,  the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners from the Battle of Talas, which led to the first paper mill in the Islamic world being founded in Samarkand in Sogdia modern-day Uzbekistan. There was a tradition that Muslims would release their prisoners if they could teach ten Muslims any valuable knowledge.
The laborious process of paper making was refined and machinery was designed for bulk manufacturing of paper. Production began in Baghdad , where a method was invented to make a thicker sheet of paper, which helped transform papermaking from an art into a major industry.
The Muslims also introduced the use of trip hammers human- or animal-powered in the production of paper, replacing the traditional Chinese mortar and pestle method.
In turn, the trip hammer method was later employed by the Chinese. As paper was less reactive to humidity, the heavy boards were not needed.
By the 12th century in Marrakech in Morocco a street was named "Kutubiyyin" or book sellers which contained more than bookshops. In a Persian traveler visiting markets in Cairo noted that vegetables, spices and hardware were wrapped in paper for the customers after they were sold. Egypt continued with the thicker paper, while Iran became the center of the thinner papers.
Papermaking was diffused across the Islamic world, from where it was diffused further west into Europe. The oldest known paper document in the West is the Mozarab Missal of Silos from the 11th century, probably using paper made in the Islamic part of the Iberian Peninsula.
They used hemp and linen rags as a source of fiber. It is clear that France had a paper mill by , and by mills were established in Fabriano , Italy and in Treviso and other northern Italian towns by Papermaking then spread further northwards, with evidence of paper being made in Troyes , France by , in Holland sometime around —, in Mainz , Germany in , and in Nuremberg by in a mill set up by Ulman Stromer.
There was a paper mill in Switzerland by and the first mill in England was set up by John Tate in near Stevenage in Hertfordshire ,  but the first commercially successful paper mill in Britain did not occur before when John Spilman set up a mill near Dartford in Kent.
Arab prisoners who settled in a town called Borgo Saraceno in the Italian Province of Ferrara introduced Fabriano artisans in the Province of Ancona [ clarification needed ] the technique of making paper by hand. At the time they were renowned for their wool-weaving and manufacture of cloth.
Fabriano papermakers considered the process of making paper by hand an art form and were able to refine the process to successfully compete with parchment which was the primary medium for writing at the time.
They developed the application of stamping hammers to reduce rags to pulp for making paper, sizing paper by means of animal glue , and creating watermarks in the paper during its forming process. The Fabriano used glue obtained by boiling scrolls or scraps of animal skin to size the paper; it is suggested that this technique was recommended by the local tanneries. The introduction of the first European watermarks in Fabriano was linked to applying metal wires on a cover laid against the mould which was used for forming the paper.
In the Americas, archaeological evidence indicates that a similar bark-paper writing material was used by the Mayans no later than the 5th century AD. The paper is created by boiling and pounding the inner bark of trees, until the material becomes suitable for art and writing. These materials made from pounded reeds and bark are technically not true paper , which is made from pulp, rags, and fibers of plants and cellulose. European papermaking spread to the Americas first in Mexico by and then in Philadelphia by The use of human and animal powered mills was known to Chinese and Muslim papermakers.
However, evidence for water-powered paper mills is elusive among both prior to the 11th century. You can also assign FREE revisions and have the draft amended if needed.
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